au·​to·​crat·​ic | \ ˌȯ-tə-ˈkra-tik How to pronounce autocratic (audio) \
variants: or less commonly autocratical \ ˌȯ-​tə-​ˈkra-​ti-​kəl How to pronounce autocratical (audio) \

Definition of autocratic

1 : of, relating to, or being an autocracy : absolute an autocratic government
2 : characteristic of or resembling an autocrat : despotic an autocratic ruler

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Other Words from autocratic

autocratically \ ˌȯ-​tə-​ˈkra-​ti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce autocratically (audio) \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for autocratic



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Did You Know?

Autos in Greek means "same" or "self", so in an autocratic government all the power is held by the leader him- or herself. Autocratic governments are often called dictatorships, or sometimes autocracies. In everyday life, a teacher, a parent, or a football coach can all behave like autocrats as well.

Examples of autocratic in a Sentence

democracy is supposed to protect the people against the rise of autocratic rulers an autocratic Boy Scout leader who is under the delusion that he's still an army colonel
Recent Examples on the Web The next decade won’t be defined by an iron curtain but two blocs vying for influence within every nation that isn’t firmly in the liberal democratic or autocratic camp. Charlie Campbell, Time, "The Coronavirus Outbreak Could Derail Xi Jinping’s Dreams of a Chinese Century," 6 Feb. 2020 His word nearly always wins out in debates at Bridgewater on topics from management, staffing and investments to compensation, personnel and the wisdom of meeting with an autocratic head of state, say current and former employees. Rob Copeland, WSJ, "Ray Dalio Is Still Driving His $160 Billion Hedge-Fund Machine," 31 Jan. 2020 Dalton parents saw Barr as autocratic, insular, and obsessed with adherence to rules. David Rohde, The New Yorker, "William Barr, Trump’s Sword and Shield," 13 Jan. 2020 Around the same time, the government began cracking down on secular dissidents too, and in many ways Sisi has been more autocratic than Mubarak was. New York Times, "Mohammed bin Zayed’s Dark Vision of the Middle East’s Future," 9 Jan. 2020 Beijing’s trouble retaining talent raises a question that applies to China more generally: namely, are there limits to the flourishing of innovation and creativity in an autocratic, controlling one-party state? The Economist, "China’s discriminatory hukou system plagues white-collar workers, too," 12 Dec. 2019 Venezuela’s government is more openly autocratic, controlling institutions — including the military — to a much higher degree. Mariana Zuñiga, Washington Post, "Venezuela’s struggling opposition seeks to tap into uprising wave across South America," 16 Nov. 2019 First, there was his abrupt, chaotic pullout from Syria — betraying our Kurdish allies, empowering the autocratic president of Turkey, delivering a gift to the Syrian regime and opening up new space for Islamic State. Steve Chapman,, "Column: Trump to Congress: Impeach me!," 17 Oct. 2019 The military had ousted autocratic President Omar al-Bashir in April amid nationwide protests against his nearly 30-year rule. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Sudan’s new PM launches probe into protesters’ deaths," 22 Sep. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'autocratic.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of autocratic

1769, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for autocratic

see autocrat

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Time Traveler for autocratic

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The first known use of autocratic was in 1769

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Statistics for autocratic

Last Updated

13 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Autocratic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Feb. 2020.

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